TLM Launches Coding Program in Montana


The Last Mile (TLM), the leading provider of technology training programs and transitional support for incarcerated people, has expanded its program to Montana. In honor of this launch, the Montana Department of Corrections co-hosted a ribbon cutting and classroom visit with The Last Mile Web Development Program’s program participants at Montana State Prison. 


“The Montana Department of Corrections is deeply grateful for the opportunity to offer The Last Mile coding program at Montana State Prison,” said DOC Director Brian Gootkin. “It is our mission to create a safer Montana through accountability, rehabilitation, and empowerment. TLM furthers that mission by not only providing participating incarcerated individuals with the skills to be successful upon release — graduates have a zero percent recidivism rate — but to fill in-demand positions in Montana’s growing tech industry.” 

Speakers included Governor Gianforte, Department of Corrections Director Brian Gootkin, and TLM Executive Director Sydney Heller. These key stakeholders drove the expansion and implementation of The Last Mile programming into Montana State Prison, with goals for expansion to drive workforce and technical skills for incarcerated people. 

 “It’s a great day in Montana as we formally welcome The Last Mile to the Montana State Prison,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “This program will open doors to opportunity for graduates, reduce recidivism in our communities, and make Montana healthier and stronger.”

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, attendees visited The Last Mile classroom to learn from the students about the program’s coursework since its launch on September 19, 2022. The Last Mile’s Web Development Program teaches students to create websites and full stack web applications using industry standard technologies, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Node, Express, and MongoDB. 

TLM’s Executive Director Sydney Heller shared, “Technology and web development have permeated every industry in the country. TLM delivers a program proven to provide real, modern educational opportunities to incarcerated folks, creating pathways into personal and professional success post release. Currently, 85% of TLM’s alumni are gainfully employed which is well above the national statistic for formerly incarcerated people.” 

Following release, TLM’s Reentry Department supports successful reintegration of returned citizens back into society, the workforce and their communities by providing business and technology resources, as well as employment opportunities through TLM’s network of fair chance employers which include industry leaders Slack Technologies, Zoom, Dropbox, Square, Lob, GoodRx, Pilot, and Checkr among others.